A father has filed a $10.5million lawsuit against his son’s school, claiming the ‘repeated abuse’ the 18-year-old special needs student suffered at the hands of his teachers led to his death.
Aaron Hatcher, who had muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, could not speak or walk. His father Ronald, from Atlanta, Georgia, claims a teacher at Roswell High School forced the teen to wear a homemade neck brace, causing physical and mental suffering.
The father’s attorney, Trey Sauls, said the tightened brace obstructed Aaron’s breathing and contributed to his death last year.
‘[The teacher] fastened this neck brace not for any medical reason, but to force his neck in a position to look at her,’ Mr Sauls told WSBTV.com.
‘In turning his head in this position, it restricted his airway,’ he added. ‘In essence, it stopped him from breathing.’
Mr Hatcher said he notified school officials and the school board about the use of the unapproved neck brace but the teacher continued to force him to wear it.
‘I wanted it to stop. I even said in my email, “If you don’t stop this, he’s going to die.” They did nothing,’ he added.
Mr Hatcher said Aaron had breathing difficulties because of the restraint, which led to several emergency room trips. On March 19, after being released from hospital, the teen died at home.
According to the lawsuit, which names 24 defendants including the school district, Aaron also suffered abuse at Hopewell Middle School from 2005 to 2007. The allegations include assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.
Fulton County Schools said it had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment on it.